Levr.ai closes $1-million seed round for AI-powered loan platform for small businesses

Levr ai
Startup serves companies that “big banks struggle to service and tech startups often ignore.”

Vancouver-based FinTech startup Levr.ai has secured $1 million CAD in seed financing to continue scaling its artificial intelligence (AI)-powered loan software for small businesses.

The seed round comes a year after Levr.ai raised $1-million in pre-seed financing, co-led by British Columbia-based Mavan Capital Partners and Alberta-based Sprout. This new funding, which closed at the end of January, includes follow-on investments from Weave VC and Sprout, with participation from several new, undisclosed investors.

The latest investment brings Levr.ai’s funding to over $2.5 million. A Levr.ai spokesperson declined to disclose the startup’s valuation, but told BetaKit it has tripled since its last round.

Levr.ai has already facilitated over $15 million in loan offers, a significant jump from $2.5 million in early 2023.

Levr.ai offers an AI-driven loan platform that connects small businesses seeking capital to a wide range of funding options, aiming to hasten the process of looking and applying for loans. 

In a statement, co-founder and CEO Kaylan Pepin said Levr.ai looks to serve small businesses that “big banks struggle to service and tech startups often ignore.”

Pepin told BetaKit that the startup is “feeling the demand” for its platform and noted this funding gives the startup more resources to scale. It has already facilitated over $15 million in loan offers, a massive jump from the $2.5 million it had facilitated a year ago.

Pepin said Levr.ai is looking to scale “at a critical time” as high interest rates and inflation continue to batter small businesses across Canada. Business insolvencies jumped by more than 40 percent in 2023, according to Canada’s top financial regulator.

This strain has been exacerbated by the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) loan repayment deadline in January. The federal program offered struggling businesses loans of up to $60,000 during the pandemic. According to the federal government, a quarter of small businesses that took out a CEBA loan had missed the Jan. 18 repayment deadline.

Dan Kelly, the president of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, told BetaKit last month this CEBA loan deadline would “strangle” many Canadian companies. “This is literally the straw that will break the backs of thousands and thousands of businesses.”

Levr.ai’s platform gives small businesses visibility to lending options from over 40 partners, and is available across Canada and the United States (US). According to Pepin, over 2,000 businesses used its platform last year, and the company has seen roughly 250 new businesses join its platform monthly, with 30 percent of its traffic coming from the US. The startup told BetaKit that most of this growth occurred in the fourth quarter of 2023.

The startup plans to use the new capital to continue its product roadmap, which includes “new AI releases,” and expand its reach to more North American businesses.

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle is a Vancouver-based writer with 5+ years of experience in communications and journalism and a lifelong passion for telling stories. For over two years, she has reported on all sides of the Canadian startup ecosystem, from landmark venture deals to public policy, telling the stories of the founders putting Canadian tech on the map.

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